Tag Archives: Christian historical fiction

Book Review: Hailee (Montana Skies series) – by Penny Zeller

Hailee by Penny ZellerBook: Hailee
Author: Penny Zeller
Publisher: Whitaker House
Date: January 2, 2011
Genre: Christian historical romance; fiction
Pages: 432
Price: $12.99 paperback; under $8.00 Kindle
My Rating: good clean romance and adventure

 

Hailee is book three in the Montana Skies series by Penny Zeller. You can read my review of book two, Kaydie, here.

In this volume we meet Hailee, an orphan with two younger brothers. Because they were left on their own, she took on the responsibility of her little brothers. Eventually, Hailee is separated from them through bad choices she made, and was taken to a home for delinquents. There her life is changed despite her rebellion.

We meet Hailee in 1893 when she is nineteen and setting out to make a life for herself as a teacher. Through her memories of guilt and shame, and her learning to accept God’s forgiveness, we learn about her past and her heartache over still not knowing the whereabouts of her brothers.

There is another main character in this story. Nate, although brought up in Boston’s high society, chose to live a much simpler life as a pastor in a small rugged town – much to the great displeasure of his parents. He loves his new life among the varied and interesting personalities in the little town in Montana.

Hailee and Nate come from very different backgrounds, so when their paths intersect their lives take an interesting turn. There is drama, danger, love, family conflict, and more.

The reader is invited along in the journey in a way that makes one unwilling to leave the story even when necessary. Penny Zeller created characters who are believable, scenes that are well-described, and unfolding drama that keeps the pages turning. She subtly presents the message of God’s love and grace in a gentle and convincing way, making this an enjoyable read. 

Although Hailee is book three of the Montana Skies series, the first two books are not needed to make this one understandable; the author neatly ties them all together. Having said that, once you read Hailee you will probably want to read McKenzie and Kaydie.

You can find Hailee listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: The Hardest Thing To Do – by Penelope Wilcock

Book: The Hardest Thing To Do
Author: Penelope Wilcock
Publisher: Crossway
Date: July 2011
Genre: Christian historical fiction
Pages: 255
Price: $12.99, paperback
My Rating: A wonderful read! .. engaging and inspiring.

I received an ARC (advanced reading copy) from Crossway through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

The Hardest Thing To Do is the first of three sequels to the Hawk and the Dove trilogy which takes place early in the fourteenth century. I had not read any of the books before this one so I didn’t know what to expect, but I am very glad to have been given the opportunity to review it. What a wonderful read!

The story focuses on a monastery in a time of change and struggle as the monks welcome their new abbot. At the same time that his new role begins, Abbot John is faced with a troubling challenge. A man – a monk from another house – comes to them seeking refuge, a man they consider to be their enemy but who is now in dire need, his life in danger. No one trusts or even likes him and the brothers have to deal with issues of forgiveness, bitterness and trust as they take him in while deciding what to do about him in the long-term. The question that insistently stands before them is, “What would our Lord have us do?”

Penelope Wilcock presents the lives and events in the monastery through a journal style of writing. It is an easy book to read, very interesting, captivating, and pulled me in from the first page of the story. The believable characters stay on the reader’s mind as they are followed through their daily routines, their anxieties, joys, fears, and deep desire to walk with Christ. A lovely point in this is that the author had several of the monks discover things that were “the hardest thing to do” for them.

Having not read any other books in this series I am now keen on doing so. If you enjoy historical fiction, then there is a very good chance you will thoroughly enjoy this one. A review that does not give away too much of the story can hardly give the book justice, but The Hardest Thing To Do is well worth the read.

You can find The Hardest Thing To Do listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂